SCOTT’S RAMBLINGS

A tribute to Wetherspoons’ badass tapas

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

The world is becoming a more and more expensive place. Back when I started drinking, I could get a round of three pints and expect change from a tenner. My mum used to give me £1 at the beginning of the week, and I could buy myself a pack of Hubba Bubba (and chuck all five in my mouth at once) every day that week. Life was good.

Then this horrible thing called ‘time’ and ‘getting older’ happened and suddenly the £1 I still insist my parents give me at the beginning of each week really struggles to keep me fed.

However, in every dystopian future, there’s a shining light. A hero. A hope for the future. For this future, it’s Wetherspoons 3 for £12 meal deal (prices may vary by region).

This glorious gift to mankind, like Prometheus bequeathing fire to us, is unrivaled for value and ability to fuel a binge drinking session. For just £12, you can get yourself any 3 dishes from a selection of 16, with delicacies from 8 different countries.

Where else could you get such volume and variety of food at that price? No seriously, I need to know as I’m worried about the regularity I’m going to my local Spoons.

To those unfamiliar with this wondrous offer, allow me to explore it in more depth for you.

Pizzas

Around half of the choices on the menu are pizzas. Now I know what you’re thinking – pizzas from Wetherspoons? Probably an oven jobby? You couldn’t be more wrong. These 8-inch wonders make more people happy than the average 7 inches of meat does. The crust is crispy and thin and the cheese is unbrielievable.

And the toppings. Wow. What a choice you have. They cover all manner of dietary requirements and they’re far from stingy. None of this one quartered mushroom and 2 grams of chicken nonsense. No. They fill that circle of dough with topping greatness. And one pizza is the pizza that rules them all.

The carbonara pizza is more Italian than Luca Toni riding a Vespa, making over dramatic hand signals whilst listening to Pavarotti. In fact, it’s so Italian, the Italians would more than likely be disgusted by this abomination. But I’m not. I think it’s the greatest combination since chocolate-covered peanuts. In fact, it’s worth the £12 by itself. Carbonara on a pizza. Genius.

Nachos

Much like with burritos, structural integrity is very important in nachos. There’s nothing worse than reaching for a fully loaded chip and finding it to be floppier than the old love gun 10 pints deep – and just as useless. Wetherspoons knows this and they’ve provided you with solid chips. Top-notch.

What do you get with these tortilla chips you ask? Now, this ain’t no Cineworld shit. No having to choose between cheese, guacamole, and sour cream. Nah mate. They shove them all on there in spades. Bloody legend. Now I’m no fan of sour cream myself seeing as it’s a dip that’s literally cream gone sour – but I respect the fact others do. The nachos have it all, and there’s a lot of it. And let me reinforce the fact – IT’S JUST ONE OF THE THREE THINGS YOU’VE ORDERED!

Halloumi Fries

I really feel halloumi (like avocados) just appeared out of nowhere in the mid to late 2000s. The only cheese before this time that England had heard of was cheddar, Red Leicester, and mozzarella. Then this exotic Cypriot cheese comes out of nowhere to turbocharge all future BBQs.

Then we did what every smart western nation does to food to make it twice as good – we deep-fried the hell out of it. What was then born was halloumi fries. Which are basically like normal fries but you feel proper upper class when ordering them. Even more so than sweet potato fries. And they’re bloody delicious. Which is pretty much exactly what you’d expect from deep-fried cheese.

What’s even better is you get some kick-ass salsa dip with it. Which is like salsa but more wholesome and delicious. And these are perfection when put together. Like Greece meets Mexico meets the US.

Garlic pizza bread

You love garlic bread. You love pizza. Wetherspoons are here changing the world by putting them together in another concoction that would make the average Italian vomit in their mouth whilst saying ‘MAMA MIA’.

I admittedly don’t often order this choice as I get a pizza and pizza squared seems a little bit too much pizza. But if you’re not ordering one – then it’s a solid option. And I highly recommend it.

Topped chips

I’d never realised how cheese-based these choices were until I made this list. Even the normally cheese-less options are covered in cheese and I’m fucking into it. Cheesy fries are great for very obvious reasons. Unless it’s one of those hellish places where they don’t melt the cheese. Luckily Spoons isn’t one of those places.

Even better is the choice of sauces – sour cream, or the far superior option – chip shop curry sauce. Yes it’s now also time to destroy India and their cuisine. The Italians have had enough. Chip shop curry sauce is divine. It’s a god tier sauce.

Oh and they also put bacon on it. Because why the hell wouldn’t you?

Macaroni Bites

Mac and cheese isn’t prevalent enough in my opinion. It should be everywhere. We should eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brinner, brunch, elevenses and supper. Yes – I like mac and cheese.

Now have you been paying attention? What do we do to something to make it twice as good? Yes, let’s deep fry those bastards. Deep-fried balls of mac and cheese. Yes please. And now I know my epitaph.

Southern-fried chicken strips

The south of the US doesn’t have a great rep. Guns. Racism. A terrible accent. But one thing that redeems them is that they can fry some damn chicken. I’m not saying it cancels out gun crime and racism – but it’s coming closer than a salad that’s for sure.

And what’s the sauce this time? Chipotle Mayo of course. I’m not a massive mayo fan. I think it’s weird and eggy. But I do love eggs? Weird. Anyway, I do like most flavoured mayos and chipotle is no exception. Together it’s some gourmet shit.

Chicken wings

Finally, we come to the love of my life. If you were to change my entire body to chicken wings, I’d definitely eat myself. Chicken wings are the bomb. They’re the perfect vessel for hot sauce. You can eat them as a snack, as the main attraction, and even force your teetotal friend to try and eat 50 of them as a replacement for alcohol (fuck you Rowan for achieving it).

Much like the start of this blog, you’re probably thinking ‘Yeah Scott. Who doesn’t fucking love chicken wings? I’d leave my wife/husband for a lifetime supply of them without a second thought. I’d trade my child in for like 80 wings. But Spoons? Do they really do good wings?’. My answer to you is ‘Woah – that’s a bit far. You should at least aim for 100 wings for a child. And yes – Spoons do decent wings’.

Not only are they decent, but you get 10 of them!!! At this stage, you might have an 8-inch pizza, a portion of nachos, and 10 bloody wings in front of you – for £12! It’s insanity. Much like the sauce that comes with the wings. Naturally, there is a cheese option of sauce because Spoons apparently want to kill all lactose intolerants. But you can also get a sriracha-style hot sauce that’s shockingly good. And there’s enough of it to cover all 10 wings.

Damn, I’m in nirvana at this point of proceedings. I’ve got a wingrection just thinking about it. Excuse me whilst I watch an episode of Hot Ones with Barry White playing softly in the background.

Badass tapas indeed

So there you have it. A shockingly long rundown of Wetherspoons at its greatest. An ode if you will. It’ll fill you up whilst you party on down. It’ll make your belly happy whilst you make your liver sad.

And as we near the end of this lockdown, I find myself getting strangely emotional about pubs in general. Much like when a beloved family dog passes away, and you find yourself feeling guilty about all the times you didn’t want to go for a walk or stopped that game of fetch early – I now feel guilt about the times I didn’t truly appreciate how great pubs are.

Pubs are the lifeblood of this ridiculous country. We’re binge drinkers and proud, making pubs our arena of choice. We vent there. We rejoice there. We laugh about past adventures there. So you might as well do it over a crazy amount of cheesy fried food.

Soon my old friend, soon we’ll be back in force with no rules. Just draaaaanks and abuse about my weird lockdown blogging phase.

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Scott Drayton

Scott Drayton

Only the biggest issues discussed.

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